Close

Premium

'It was such a pity for Ireland' - Dutch striker Wim Kieft on the goal that ended our Euro 88 dream

Close

Wim Kieft earned the reputation as Holland’s super sub and in 1988 the Dutch called on him to
rescue their tournament – it came at Ireland’s cost. Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Wim Kieft earned the reputation as Holland’s super sub and in 1988 the Dutch called on him to rescue their tournament – it came at Ireland’s cost. Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Getty Images

Wim Kieft earned the reputation as Holland’s super sub and in 1988 the Dutch called on him to rescue their tournament – it came at Ireland’s cost. Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Ray Houghton's head delivered the majestic prelude to part one of an operatic odyssey in Stuttgart. His Giants Stadium volley provided the coda to six years of colourful football summers painted in glorious green.

But if Houghton's signature goals defined the beginning and the end of one era, perhaps the Dutch also served to neatly encapsulate the period.

For, just as they marked the end of the beginning in 1988, so too did they mark the beginning of the end in 1994.